National Hazelnut Month with Frangelico

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Did y’all know that September is National Hazelnut month? Neither did I, but I’m so happy I found out about it! What delicious Liqueur is made with Hazelnuts and comes in a bottle shaped like a monk? Frangelico!

Frangelico has been leading the charge to get the mighty hazelnut on our collective consciousness. This liqueur hails from the Piedmont region of Italy, using inspiration from centuries old recipes. It has warm, sweet prominent Hazelnut notes, followed by Vanilla, and Cocoa.

Let’s get to the cocktails!

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I decided to start with a Rum sour cause to me, Nuttiness + Rum = hell yes! I didn’t want to go full Tiki, but the Pineapple wedge gives a little island feel to the drink.

Angelica in the West Indies

  • 2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 3/4 oz Frangelico
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura
  • Garnish: Pineapple wedge

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass with ice. Garnish with Pineapple wedge.

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Next I decided to get spice-y and desert-y, cause I had a feeling that Frangelico + Jägermeister + Carpano Antica would be a great flavour set. It was. It was such a great flavour set that I keep thinking about it. To dry things out, I added Hine H Cognac as the base and topped it off with a couple dashes of Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters. DESSERT!

The Road to Turin

  • 1 3/4 oz Hine H Cognac
  • 1/4 oz Frangelico
  • 1/2 oz Jägermeister
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe and serve.

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Cheers to MBooth for including me in National Hazelnut Month!

Blackberry Rum Bramble

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When I was a youth back in Marin County, California, my family and I used to go to a nearby creek and pick Blackberries from the bushes in late Aug – early Sept. Every year, I think about those hilarious times of fumbling through the brambles, trying not to get too many cuts, and gathering as many berries as we could hold. Then we’d take our treasured fruit back to my mom, who would cook them into a cobbler. (Wow, I sound really provençal right now.)

Ahhhh, childhood.

Anyone up for a late season Blackberry Bramble? Yes? Not just any Bramble though, a Rum Bramble in a Mule cup!

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I got this nice Mule cup from my friend Drinks and Ink at my birthday, thanks dude!

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Blackberry Rum Bramble

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 3/4 Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cinnamon Bark syrup
  • 7-8 Blackberries
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters (optional)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine Blackberries, Lemon juice, and Cinnamon Bark syrup and muddle. Add Rum and shake over cracked ice. Dirty pour contents of shaker into Mule cup.

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Scrumptuousness in a mug y’all. Cheers!

#RumForTheHills: Painkiller

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National Rum Day is this Sunday y’all, and what better way to celebrate than with one of the best Tiki drinks ever! As I mentioned in my Hamilton Tiki Takeover post, I went to a Caribbean restaurant the other night for a Ministry of Rum tasting & Tiki party, and had several stunning Painkillers made by the incomparable Shannon Mustipher.

I can’t get this drink out of my head, it will not leave me alone! So I decided to try to make one at home and see how it turned out. It turned out pretty damn good although Shannon’s is better!

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The main difference between my Painkiller and Shannon’s is that she has Pusser’s Rum and I do not have an English Navy Rum. To overcome this challenge, I decided to mix two Rums together: Angostura 7 Year Rum and my newly acquired Hamilton 151 Rum to up the proof and give the drink that Navy Rum bite.

It was a good combo!

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Never forget the Nutmeg y’all. The Nutmeg is everything for this magical drink!

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I followed the Painkiller recipe from Beachbum Berry’s Total Tiki app while keeping in mind that I was using two Rums. I also made a last minute decision to add some Angostura Bitters to the mix for complexity. Yummmm.

Home Bar Girl’s Painkiller

  • 2 oz Angostura 7 Year Aged Rum*
  • 1/2 oz Hamilton 151 Overproof Demerara Rum**
  • 4 oz unsweetened Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange wedge, Pineapple chunk, Cinnamon stick, grated Nutmeg, Hawaiian surfbort

Combine ingredients with a lot of crushed/cracked ice and shake it baby! You want this drink to be really frothy. Dirty pour (don’t strain, pour ice and all) into Tiki mug. Garnish with all of the things.

*If you have Pussers Rum or an English Navy Rum, use 2 1/2 oz.

**This Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum is the shit. It blows Lemon Hart out of the water. I AM NOT KIDDING.

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This drink will literally make you feel like you’re on vacation, so get ready for some Tropicaaaaaal breezes! Happy Rum times to you all! If you have any Rum cocktails that you would like to share on Instagram, use the hashtag #RumForTheHills.

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: Old Fashioned

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Hello and Happy Father’s Day 2016. My dad is a Wine Guy but on a recent trip to visit me in NYC, we discovered that he’s an Old Fashioned Guy too! This post was written during my send off to the show Mad Men and contains a few Old Fashioned recipes that every dad can enjoy. Cheers!

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As I write this post, I’m drinking an Old Fashioned and re-watching the very first episode of Mad Men. I can’t really put into words how much this show means to me. This is actually the first time in my life that I’ve followed a show to the very end while it was on air. Mad Men is my Sopranos and I really hope Matthew Weiner writes a knockout of an ending.

In the first scene of S1E1, Don establishes his iconic drink of choice with the phrase, “Yeah, we’ll do this again. Old Fashioned please.” Then he drinks them over and over and over again throughout the show. I would even say that along with many of other Classic Cocktails back in vogue, Don Draper put the Old Fashioned on our minds.

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Mad Men Don Joan Old Fashioned

Both images via AMC.

The thing about the Old Fashioned it that is the original cocktail and to me, that says a lot about Don Draper. It says he likes to keep things simple. He wants to be respected. He is a whiskey man like many other people from farm country. He likes to present a persona of being classic and is attached to a certain time period.

According to historical records, the first written mention of the word cocktail included a definition that it “should be a potent concoction of spirit, bitters, water and sugar.” Well, we have our recipe, let’s start with the most classic version of an Old Fashioned.

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Ingredients: Water, Bitters, Sugar, Barspoon, double Rocks glass. 

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Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 2 dashes Angostura or Aromatic Bitters
  • barspoon Sugar or 1 Sugar Cube
  • 1/4 oz Water
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry and Orange peel

Build in double Rocks glass:

  1. Add Sugar, Water and Bitters to glass and stir until sugar is nearly dissolved.
  2. Add Rye and stir until everything has mixed properly
  3. Add ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved (around 10 seconds)
  4. Add Cherry, express Orange peel and garnish

Mad Men Modern Old Fashioned

Image via AMC

In the photo above, Don is muddling a Cherry into his Old Fashioned and even adds Soda Water to the drink before he stirs it. This scene actually caused quite a stir amongst the Cocktail community because “it was a gross Old Fashioned! Never muddle the fruit! No Soda Water ever!” Y’all, come on, let the people do what they want to do with their fruit. Besides, there is actually a Modern Old Fashioned with muddled fruit in it.

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Simple Syrup, Bitters, two Cherries, one Orange wedge, muddler and double Rocks glass.

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Modern Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Rye
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • ~1/4 oz Simple Syrup (less if your Orange is really sweet)
  • 2 small Orange slices
  • 2 Maraschino Cherries

Build in double Rocks Glass:

  1. Add Simple Syrup, Orange Slices, Cherries and muddle.
  2. Add Rye, Bitters, and ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved.

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Now let’s talk about other Old Fashioned options including one of my favourites, the Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned. I’ve written about these mixers before and I will write about them until the end of time because they are INCREDIBLE. The Spiced Old Fashioned mixer is truly delicious, it tastes just as delicious as a classic Old Fashioned and is very simple to make.

HINT: BUY THIS MIXER.

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Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned

  • 4 parts Whiskey
  • 1 part Mixer
  • Garnishes: Orange peel and Maraschino Cherry

Build in glass:

  1. Combine ingredients over ice and stir.
  2. Add Cherry, express orange peel and garnish.

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Recommended types of bitters for your Whiskey Old Fashioneds.

Back in Nov 2014, I wrote a post about how Old Fashioneds are the best kind of drink to make when hosting a big party because you can use so many types of Spirits, Sweeteners, Bitters and Garnishes. Check it out if you’d like to make a few with Aged Rum, Añejo Tequila or Apple Brandy.

Mad Men Old Fashioned Hawaii

Well, like pensive Don having an Old Fashioned in Hawaii, I shall be be awaiting the end of this magnificent show. Bye Bye Mad Men!

If you’d like to peruse the other Mad Men cocktails I’ve written during this last season, check them out here.

Fruity Cocktails with Fino Sherry

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Edit: If you’re here for #SherryWeek, have an excellent time with these recipes!

Y’all, I have been waiting for this post ever since I got that bottle of Inocente Fino Sherry back in January. From the moment I put my lips on this Sherry, I knew, I knew it was going to go with fruit and I knew I was going to use it Long or Tiki style.

I’ve been biding my time.

Today on Instagram, I was challenged to make a Fog Cutter by @el_nova_1 (the person behind last week’s Navy Grog challenge who loves Tiki as much as many of us do) and make the drink immediately! It’s DAMN FABULOUS! LIKE DAAAAAAAYUM FABULOUS. Citrusy, dry, great flavour arc, deep. I’m in luv. With this challenge comes a great opportunity for me to post a couple of other Fruity Sherry drinks I’ve had sitting in my notebook.

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First things first about this Fog Cutter: I don’t have any Grape Brandy! I only have Calvados! The recipe also calls for Cream or Amontillado Sherry and I only have Fino Sherry. So, like any good Home Bar Gurrrrrrl, I’ve made some adjustments (ahem, Old Tom Gin) and named the variation “Karl the Fog Cutter” after my beloved San Francisco Bay Area’s archnemesis (or claim to fame), Karl the Fog.

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Karl the Fog Cutter

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry (float)
  • 2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Sherry float, Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry spear, Monkey

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into Tiki Mug or Collins Glass over Cracked Ice. Float the Sherry, garnish with Orange wedge with Maraschino Cherry and Monkey.

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This next one came from a flavour pairing obsession I currently have: Fino Sherry + Apricot Liqueur. It’s to die for. The nuttiness from the Orgeat & Fino go sooooo well with the Apricot. Literally the greatest thing since Smith & Cross Rum + Teeling Irish Whiskey. This one is straight up Tiki, so be sure you have a mint sprig and some Orgeat ready to go!

Marley’s Map

  • 1 1/2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Rum
  • 1/2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry

Combine ingredients over ice and short shake. Strain into double Rocks glass or short Tiki mug over ice. Garnish with Mint sprig, two Pineapple chunks and a Maraschino Cherry.

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Now back to that Cobbler. Goodness, I get such a thrill out of making and/or drinking a Cobbler! This one came to me in the night and I had to write it down before I fell asleep. Again, we’re using the glorious Apricot + FIno Sherry combo along with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Old Tom Gin, and Boker’s Bitters. I wanted this one to taste Old Skool/Pre-Prohibition.

I definitely Flavor Bible’d the Rosemary + Blueberry + Strawberry + Lemon + Orange flavours. If you don’t have the Flavor Bible yet…get to it!

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Stafford Cobbler

  • 1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Honey Syrup
  • 2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
  • Small handful of Blueberries, muddled
  • Garnish: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange wheel, Rosemary sprig

In tin, combine Lemon Juice and Blueberries and muddle. Add remaining ingredients, ice and short shake. Strain into Stemmed glass filled with ice and fruit, Orange wedge and Rosemary Sprig on top. Serve with a straw and a spoon so your guests may eat the fruit!

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Yassssss gurrrrrrrl, Ms Stafford Cobbler, lemme get real close.

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottle of Carpano Antica!

Drinking with Mad Men Season 7: the Manhattan

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To celebrate “The End of An Era”, welcome to a series of drinks from the television show Mad Men. Each week I’ll be featuring a different cocktail from the show, so we can all drink along with our favourite Madison Avenue Ad-men and women.

As previously stated, I’m a bit of a Mad Men fanatic. The characters and their struggles have gripped my soul. The fashion is so on point. The cocktails are so classic and powerful.

Yes, powerful. This week for S7E9, I’ll be drinking perhaps the most “powerful” cocktail of all time, The Manhattan. There is literally nothing more powerful than ordering what Gary Regan once called, “The King of Cocktails.” Manhattans make you feel like a supreme being, a conqueror of worlds, a leader of vast armies.

Tradition has it that the Manhattan was originally made with American Whiskey, which in the 1860s meant Rye. Some recipes call for Canadian Whiskey, Bourbon, or even Brandy (I’m looking at you Wisconsin) but they always call for Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and Bitters.

Peggy Drinks a Manhattan

In S4E7 “The Suitcase”, Peggy and her boyfriend Mark break up after Don forces her to work late into the night on her birthday. She vents her frustration to Don and tells him that she and Mark have split. Don and Peggy leave the office, go to a shitty diner and then end up at a bar. Don, always Old Fashioned in hand, chats with Peggy about how attractive Peggy is and cheers her up about her chances with men. Peggy slowly sips her Manhattan, savoring every moment.

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Manhattans are usually made in a 2:1 ratio of Whiskey to Sweet Vermouth with a couple of dashes of Bitters thrown in and a Maraschino Cherry as garnish. Here in New York City 2015, the recipe is frequently made as follows:

Manhattan

  • 2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse is the fave)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica Vermouth or Cocchi Vermouth di Tornio are the faves)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Combine Ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe and garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

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An excellent Manhattan Variation is made by using equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Dry Vermouth with a couple of dashes of bitters. This is called a Perfect Manhattan. In my opinion, this tends to work better if you use Vermouths of the same house. i.e. Dolin Rouge & Dolin Dry, Noilly Prat Rouge & Noilly Prat Dry, Carpano Antica & Carpano Dry.

Perfect Manhattan

  • 2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Carpano Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Combine Ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe and garnish with Maraschino Cherry.

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In what is perhaps my favourite Manhattan Variation, add Celery Bitters into the mix. The Fourth Regiment recipe was first published in The Hotel Monthly by Jacques Straub in 1914. I had one for the first time a few years ago at Dutch Kills in Long Island City and never looked back! The original recipe calls for the drink to be shaken, equal parts Rye & Sweet Vermouth and one dash each of the bitters. There is no garnish specification but I love to use an Orange peel.

Fourth Regiment

  • 1 1/2 oz Rye (Rittenhouse or bust!)
  • 1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica!)
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine Ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into coupe, express Orange peel and garnish.

Manhattan-Ingredients

Now when it comes to making your own Manhattan, use whichever Bitters, Vermouths, garnishes and Whiskey you have on hand. Feel free to experiment and combine different ingredients together. If you have Maraschino Liqueur, an Amaro or Absinthe on hand, add a dash or two of that! Always keep in mind to start in small amounts and measure everything!

I’ll be doing this series until the end of Mad Men, so see you next week!

Thanks again to The Baddish Group for the fantastic bottles of Carpano Antica & Carpano Dry.

Classic Cocktails: Army & Navy + Variations

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Many moons ago, I had my first trip to The NoMad Bar with a whole bunch of newly acquainted friends. It has since become my favourite bar in NYC because they simply have the most adventurous and yet totally drinkable cocktails in the city. They consistently surprise, inspire and encourage me to push the envelope while remaining true to form. (i.e. They frequently use Fino Sherry and Amari in Tiki drinks. Brilliant.)

They also make a damn good Army & Navy.

I am a huge fan of Gin Sours in any form but something about the combination of Orgeat and Lemon Juice really moves my taste buds to flight! Oh and I highly recommend this B.G. Reynolds Orgeat, it’s a bit toasted, has just the right amount of floral notes and is quite tasty. Let’s make an Army & Navy right now, shall we?

Army & Navy (from David A Embury, Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. 1948.)

  • 2 oz English Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherries

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries. Sip and smile.

Wasn’t that tasty? Yes, yes it was so damn tasty! Wouldn’t you like to drink another? Hold off on that ’cause we have a couple of variations:

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So obvi the Army & Navy is a drink begging for rum. I decided to split the base with Flor de Caña 7 and Hayman’s Old Tom Gin. The Old Tom then inspired me to use some of those Boker’s Bitters that I love so dearly.

Sir Joseph Porter

  • 1 oz Old Tom Gin
  • 1 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Rum
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz B.G. Reynolds Orgeat
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Adam Elmegirab’s Boker’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherries

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries. Sip and grin.

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Yes! The Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears are back!

If an Army & Navy variation was begging for rum, the next logical step (in my island themed brain) was to take it to Tiki Paradise! I’m obviously very excited about this drink. It’s just fabulous. Really, any excuse to use Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin in a cocktail is a dream come true for me.

Captain Corcoran

  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1 oz Pineapple infused Plymouth Gin
  • 3/4 oz B.G. Reynolds Orgeat
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dropper Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters
  • Garnish: Three Maraschino Cherries and Pineapple Spear Bunny Ears

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it up! Strain into coupe, garnish with Maraschino Cherries and Bunny Ears. Sip and giggle.

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Did you get the joke? The variations are named after characters from the HMS Pinafore. Clearly I think everything in life should be a tad silly but nary an April Fools prank shall I make.

Enjoy your Army & Navy and HMS Pinafore Variations! Cheers!